UAlbany Announces Two Guests for Their Creative Life Series, Fall 2022

ALBANY – The producers of The Creative Life: A Conversation Series have announced the first two guests of 2022-23 season: art critic Lucy Sante, and illustrator Maira Kalman. The series, a major arts initiative of the University Art Museum, New York State Writers Institute, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in conjunction with WAMC Public Radio, features live onstage interviews conducted by WAMC’s “Roundtable” host, Joe Donahue. For the series, the conversations with artists of national and international prominence center on their creative inspiration, their craft, careers, and the demands of sustaining an artistic practice over time. Each program concludes with a question-and-answer portion.

Guests in the series span the creative disciplines including writing, music, dance, choreography, visual arts, architecture, theatre, filmmaking and more.  The series celebrates the depth and range of artistic practices, helps to demystify the creative process for the audience and explores what it means to dedicate one’s life to a creative pursuit.  It is also intended to bring attention to the vibrant arts community on the University at Albany campus.

Lucy Sante – Tuesday, October 18th:

Lucy Sante is a transgender, Belgian-born nonfiction writer, art critic and cultural commentator of astonishingly wide interests, including the Beastie Boys, early photography and the history of New York City reservoirs. She is also “one of the handful of living masters of the American language, as well as a singular historian and philosopher of American experience,” according to Peter Schjeldahl of The New YorkerHeretofore known as Luc Sante, she is widely recognized for Low Life (1991) about crime and entertainment in Old New York, 1840-1919 as well as her collected essays, Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990-2005 (2007). A second collection, Maybe the People Would Be the Times, came out in 2020. She wrote about her recent gender transition in the February 2022 issue of Vanity Fair.  Honors include a Whiting Writer’s Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy (for album notes), an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, and Guggenheim and Cullman fellowships.

Maira Kalman – Wednesday, November 16th:

Maira Kalman is one of America’s most beloved illustrators. Her art has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. She is also an acclaimed author of books for children and adults. The creator of many covers for The New Yorkerher work adorns books by Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Michael Pollan, and the bestselling Illustrated Elements of Style by Strunk & White. She collaborated with David Byrne (Talking Heads) on the 2020 book, American Utopia, with text from Byrne’s Broadway show, and more than 150 paintings by Kalman. She has also designed fabric for Isaac Mizrahi, accessories for Kate Spade, sets for Mark Morris, and— with her late husband Tibor Kalman— clocks, umbrellas and other objects for MOMA. In 2017, she collaborated with choreographer John Heginbotham to produce a theatrical and dance interpretation of her blog, The Principles of Uncertainty, and performed with his company at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  Following that, the two again collaborated on the dance/play Herz Schmerz for which she was a designer and performer.

Past guests of the series include fiction writer Joyce Carol Oates, tap dancer-choreographer Savion Glover, jazz violinist Regina Carter, painter David Salle, Young Adult author Lois Lowry, choreographer Garth Fagan, Broadway star Patti LuPone, Warhol film star Bibbe Hansen, sculptor Jean Shin, author/essayist Esmeralda Santiago, New Yorker journalist/author Susan Orlean, comedian/actor Paul Reiser, high-wire artist Philippe Petit, rapper Rakim,  novelist Jhumpa Lahiri, chef/food writer Ruth Reichl, designer Debbie Millman and author Roxane Gay.  Additional guests will also be added for the spring of 2023.


Both Creative Life events are free and open to the public. The conversations this fall will take place at 7:00 pm at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the uptown University at Albany campus at 1400 Washington Avenue. More information can be obtained by calling the UAlbany Performing Arts Center at (518) 442-3995.

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